Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Treaty of Verdun
In the Treaty of Verdun of 843 the three surviving sons of Louis the Pious divided his territories, the Carolingian Empire, into three kingdoms. When Louis the Pious died in 840, the eldest son, Lothar, claimed overlordship over his brothers' kingdoms and supported the claim of his nephew Pepin II as king of Aquitaine. After his brothers Louis the German and Charles the Bald defeated his forces at the Battle of Fontenay (841) and sealed their alliance with the Oath of Strasbourg (842), Lothar was willing to negotiate.
Each of the brothers was already established in one kingdom - Lothar in Italy, Louis the German in Bavaria, and Charles the Bald in Aquitaine. Lothar received the central portion of the empire - what later became the Low Countries, Lorraine, Alsace, Burgundy, Provence, and Italy, and the imperial title as an honor without more than nominal overlordship. Louis the German received the eastern portion, much of what later became Germany through the shape of the Holy Roman Empire. Charles the Bald received the western portion, much of what later became France. Pepin II was granted the kingdom of Aquitaine, but only under the authority of Charles.
Though often presented as the beginning of a devolution or dissolution of Charlemagne's unitary empire, it in fact reflected the continued adherence to the Frankish idea of a partible or divisible inheritance rather than primogeniture.
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